July Community Meeting

Tonight’s meeting began with introductions as usual. Nice to see some new faces! First up on the agenda was an overview of the AIGA Leadership Retreat held June 2-4 in Minneapolis. Representing our chapter at the retreat were, Matt Munoz, Jonathan Opp, Joe Schram, Laura Hamlyn, and Woody Holliman. Our chapter was asked to give a presentation on building a chapter brand around community. Matt and Jonathan gave that presentation at tonight’s meeting. It began with a brief video describing our chapter’s open community model. Then the presentation began with the process we followed in moving towards this community model.

The Chapter and brand is nothing without community. All chapters all have same challenges, & limitations, we have to be focused, standout and be helpful. Where would we go for information, relationships, and representation? We’re here to make a different future.

We established guiding principles:

  • Branding is more than making sure everything is consistent
  • Define the brand as our reputation
  • Be the chorus not the crowd
  • Define a shared purpose: to create a place where designing thrives
  • Set goals  and our defining principles:
  • Design ability programming (web 101)
  • Design impact understand value of design (The State of Design)
  • Untie people in the community (studio tours)
  • Organize board around the goals
  • Start with symbols
  • We’ve made your outward symbols (wiki, newsletter, EventBrite, Website) function better
  • Use campaigns – first 100 days

Chapter Identity:
Need a strong identity that represents us as a whole
What few things need to be the same so everything else can be different?
Defining elements are the AIGA logo, tag & Interstate font
Build our brand system around those elements
Began an open process to create the brand, mailing list, council to participate in the brand project, put all information about the process on the wiki for all to see and give feedback
Representing Raleigh.
How do we represent Raleigh? When you think of Raleigh what comes to mind, what attributes?
Raleigh is a place where you can create who you want to be.
We need to represent the whole community that encompass the triangle area
Created brand attributes that are true and are what we wanted to be.
Those interested developed comps and posted to wiki. Ideas evolved and build on each other.
Open discussion led to solution, turning the page as to what’s next for our community
The brand mark creates the idea that AIGA is behind you.
The brand is being incorporated to all AIGA Raleigh touch points:

  • Newsletter
  • wiki
  • eventbrite
  • website

In creating our brand and incorporating it into all our communications we’ve employed the concepts of:
Release early, release often
Imperfection promotes participation

As a result of our efforts,

  • Participation is up
  • Membership is up
  • Community spirit is up

After the presentation, they received lots of questions. One of which was how is open source different than crowdsource. The difference is that in an open source model,  everyone who worked on it had a say in the direction of the project.  It was a group effort, and you can see traces of everyone’s input in the result. People got value & recognition out of working on it. Crowdsourcing is not a group effort and has no value or recognition for those involved.

New at this year’s Leadership was the introduction of Prototype Sessions.
Leaders from all chapters who share the same position at their respective chapters, talk about position based topics, The sessions are an opportunity to discuss 24 topics and create change about that topic. Groups brainstormed on the ideas and how to create change in local chapters and organization. To look at all comprehensively, and create action items, discuss goals at 1 week, 6 oms. 12 mos.

Jonathan, Matt, and Joe gave brief presentations on their groups topics.

Creating Ambassadors: Jonathan’s group
Mission: Define ambassador, find and empower people who can be the bridge between AIGA and the rest of the groups.
Problem: People don’t know what AIGA stands for literally and figuratively, We can’t do all that by ourselves.

Create an ambassador kit:

  • Create profiles and work like a recruiter look for people wiling to participate
  • Charting steps to empowerment
  • What is AIGA and its goals, create an elevator pitch

Leadership training for board members: Matt’s group
What do we mean by leadership training? To cultivate the ability to lead inside & outside of AIGA.
With more comprehensive leadership training, members can be better at inspiring growth, making impact, gaining influence.

  • Resource list, books, videos tools,
  • Survey chapters, what training would be useful, where could you contribute expertise.
  • Leadership council to steward training,
  • Chapter leadership director
  • Revised leadership director
  • Revised training areas
  • Leadership boot camp
  • Buddy system
  • Training scholarships

Building chapter websites/online resources as hubs for all creative activity in the community: Joe’s session
Key: all creative activity community
National site is redesigned, pulling in content from all chapters, creates a design community outside of that.
How can we be the place where people want to go to see what’s going on as opposed to other sites, like dribble, etc.
Two categories, all the things people are doing, the creative activities, and all people coming to site, the users.
Because of the extreme difficulties in identifying and prioritizing the content types, user needs, and features in an agile and diverse way, there is no way to make it one size fits all. Users come to site looking for data need to connect people to the data. Forget the tools.

  • Come up with a united platform
  • Integration to existing tools
  • Feeds/APIs
  • Mobile focus
  • Agile and modular innovation
  • Open source marketplace.
  • Take the pieces that others have figured out, and put all on national wiki so all can take the pieces the need.


  • Create a digital task force, create a digital strategy “czar”
  • Relaunch chapter internet kit that meets basic chapter needs.
  • Deliver developers kit and best practice guidelines.
  • Would be like an al a carte menu to use what is needed based on your size and needs and abilities.
  • Mature curated innovation marketplace, at leadership retreat incorporates digital innovation from chapter.

Groups are staying in touch and continuing to work on plans covered in the sessions.

And speaking of websites, as yo know the AIGA Raleigh website was launched last November, a new version will be coming soon-ish. The web team is in need of participants to help with getting the new site live. It is a chance to learn about information design. It is also an opportunity to show other chapters how a project like this is done.  A call for volunteers will be sent out soon. If you are interested, please contact Rebekah Miel at rebekah.miel@raleigh.aiga.org.

Next on the agenda, introducing some new positions.
New positions:
Rebekah Miel is taking on the role of Community Organizer. If you want to get more involved, she is the one to contact for opportunities to participate.
Woody Holliman is looking for someone to take over the Design+Business programming, as he is now heading up Design Impact Programming
Amy Lyons, is our new Email and Web Content Manager. If you are interested in contributing to the blog, or have suggestions for article topics, please contact me at amy.lyons@raleigh.aiga.org.
Jamie Lee will be taking over the Communications Director role as Kelty, who is due any day now, goes on maternity leave. (Congrats Kelty!)

A note on volunteering from Matt:
When you volunteer you contribute something, you get something out of it. If  you are looking to learn, to  grow, to build a name for yourself., we have opportunities to do that. Volunteering is much more than lending a hand. When we ask for volunteers we are inviting you to participate.

In other news:
AIGA Raleigh has a profile on Etsy. We will be creating Treasuries featuring local artist throughout the year. If you have a shop, we’d love to include you in one of our treasuries. Send a link to your shop to amy.lyons@raleigh.aiga.org.

We have T-shirts! They were designed by David Goldstein, and Jonathan Opp coordinated their production, full filling his long-held dream of having an AIGA Raleigh T-shirt! If you have an event coming up, contact Jonathan at jonathan.opp@raliegh.aiga.org to get T-shirts to sell during your upcoming event.

I am looking for people to contribution to the blog. If you have a topic or article idea that you’d like to write about please contact me at amy.lyons@raleigh.aiga.irg.

AIGA Raleigh is now on Google+. Need an invite, contact Parrish Lee at parrish.lee@raleigh.aiga.org

Alanna Howard, the editor of Windhover, announced that the NCSU Design Council is working on a First Friday Meet & Greet for students & professionals. Details are still being worked out, contact Alanna for more info.
The Windhover, NC State’s Literary and Visual Magazine is looking for sponsors if you are interested in supporting the magazine, contact Alanna.

And that brings this meeting to a close, and we’re off to Natty Greenes for beers.
Thanks for coming! Hope to see you next month!



By Amy Lyons
Published July 13, 2011